After the death in Syria of the baby son of a teenager who ran away to join the Islamic State group, a member of Britain’s opposition Labour Party has called the Conservative government’s handling of the young woman’s case “callous and inhumane.”
Shamima Begum, 19, who was stripped of her citizenship by the British government despite her wish to return, gave birth last month in a refugee camp in northeastern Syria. The baby has now died, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on Friday.
The baby died of pneumonia, according to a medical certificate, the British Broadcasting Corporation reported. She had previously given birth to two other children who are said to have died, apparently from illness and malnutrition.
After this latest death, the Labour Party’s Diane Abbott lashed out at the government’s revocation of the young mother’s citizenship after deeming her a security risk.
“It is against international law to make someone stateless, and now an innocent child has died as a result of a British woman being stripped of her citizenship,” Abbott tweeted. “This is callous and inhumane.”
Begum’s case has highlighted a dilemma facing many European countries, divided over whether to allow jihadis and ISIS sympathizers home to face prosecution or bar them from entry as the group’s “caliphate” crumbles.
The runaway teen, who left East London for Syria when she was 15 years old with two other schoolgirls, said last month she wanted to return to Britain after fleeing fighting between the terror group and US-backed forces.
At the time, Begum told the BBC, “Losing my children the way I lost them, I don’t want to lose this baby as well and this is really not a place to raise children, this camp.”
But public sentiment hardened against Begum after she showed little remorse about ISIS attacks in media interviews from the refugee camp in eastern Syria.
– with reporting by Agence France-Presse